May is Mental Health Awareness month. So it is important for us to shed some light on healthy practices we can incorporate into our daily routines. In order to maintain a positive relationship with our subconscious minds, we must take care of ourselves. Whether we’ve come to accept this fact already or not, mental health is REAL, not a myth, and it can have real effects on every aspect of our lives; such as our performance in school or at work, our motivation/drive to complete daily tasks, the perception we hold of ourselves and even our social battery when dealing with friends or family.
Keep reading if you’re interested in bringing awareness to your mental health with activities that can boost your mood and promote positive headspace.
Meditation is a grounding tool that has been around for centuries. Let go of your negative views you may hold towards meditation. It does not have to be structured with specific sounds or words. Meditation can truly be what you choose for it to be. It is a chance for you to take a moment and turn off your brain from the way it is wired to work all day long. At this moment you become aware of your body, your breathing, and your feelings. You can release all things stressing you and focus on whatever it is mentally that you’ve been neglecting.
This mental health tip is for awareness as well. A lot of times we get so wrapped in our work, school, and day-to-day that we don’t set time aside for ourselves. Slowing down is really open to your interpretation. Maybe this means closing your laptop and talking to your bestie. Maybe it means taking time off from work and taking a vacation to a place that you’ve always wanted to visit. Maybe this means taking a walk during sunset to simply get some fresh air. Whatever slowing down means for you, make sure to add this to your to-do list to take care of yourself.
Our bodies physically carry around the majority of the stress that we experience mentally. Whenever you wake up(or before you go to bed), it is important to ease the pressure imposed on your body. A simple 5-minute stretch can increase blood flow, improve posture, and loosen your muscles. Most importantly, stretching can realign our bodies, and give us a moment to focus on ourselves.
Writing is a perfect way for us to organize our thoughts. Not only can you physically look back to these thoughts, but journaling also allows you to tap into a deeper understanding of yourself. Sometimes writing a list of all the things you need to do can be a de-stressing technique. When you are able to cross things off the list, you can positively reward yourself for completing tasks.
Making a plan is a crucial way to prepare yourself for what’s coming ahead. It is a great way to get yourself excited about the things you have coming up, stay on top of deadlines, and organize your time. If you are more of a spontaneous ‘go with the flow’ type person, then I know from experience, procrastination and last-minute making it happen is your specialty. But, this lack of planning can be a contributing factor to the stress that you may experience. Try to implement planning into your meals, assignments/tasks, meetings, social time, etc…
As much as exercising has a physical impact on your health, it has significant advantages for your mental health as well. Improving your body can be nourishing and boost your body image. Whenever you feel fatigued, low energy, or unmotivated, working out can be the perfect cure. Obtaining hobbies that contribute to your overall wellness is key.
Listening to good music
There’s no better cure to any problem than your favorite music. Vibing with yourself is important for your mental health. Music can be the perfect escape and mood booster for whatever you are going through in your life. Make a feel-good playlist, filled with music that can raise your spirits and reassure you.
Talk about your feelings
I know it's stigmatized as a woman trait to always want to talk about our feelings. We can’t let that stop us from this key tool in good mental health. Talking about your feelings is the next step to better understanding them. It is also a release so that we don’t harbor our feelings for too long. Find someone you trust, whether that be your therapist, your bestie, your partner, or your family. Make sure they are in a good headspace to listen to you and help. Avoidance and keeping stuff in can force us to deal with our problems alone. But, it's important to remember that you are never alone!
Mental health is often stigmatized and misunderstood. Raising mental health awareness could be the answer to a lot of the internal things we experience. Taking action can be as simple as implementing these 8 tips into your routine.